Tuesday 23 January 2018

Coyle feels Davies can do target job for Capello


Alex Lowe

Bolton manager Owen Coyle hailed his side's victory over relegation rivals West Ham as "a massive three points".

Kevin Davies put Bolton ahead with a powerful header after nine minutes and was magnificent all afternoon, with West Ham unable to cope with his physical presence up front. Jack Wilshere became the youngest player to score in the Premier League this season when he bagged the second after Davies had robbed James Tomkins of possession.

Bolton finished with 10 men after Tamir Cohen was sent off for two yellow cards and West Ham mounted a late assault, with Alessandro Diamanti curling in an 88th-minute consolation strike for the Hammers.

There was still time for both sides to hit the bar in a frantic finish -- but Bolton held out for the victory which lifts them above West Ham in the table.

"I felt it was a cup final for us," said Coyle. "We recognised coming here we'd have to be at our maximum because West Ham have been in good form. We wanted to start on the front foot and we did very well. It was a terrific performance all round. But there's no doubt we deserved all three points."

Bolton have now beaten West Ham in their last six meetings -- and three times this season following 3-1 victories at the Reebok Stadium in the league and the Carling Cup.

The Trotters had not won away from home since last September and they arrived at Upton Park without a goal on their travels in over seven hours -- a statistic Davies took just nine minutes to rectify.

"I'm led to believe this is my first away win in the Premier League but I wasn't conscious of that. I knew it was just around the corner," said Coyle. "They had us under pressure by the end. But the spirit was there for all to see.

"I felt Tamir was a little bit unlucky. Sometimes it's too easy to send someone off when they're on a yellow card. If the players keep giving me that effort we will get enough points to keep us safe.

"Kevin Davies is a top player. He is sometimes painted as a certain kind of player but he has a lot of assets to his play and is enjoying his football.

"He's not a defender's cup of tea because he's hard to play against. But he's fair and honest. With the right service, he will score. Is it far-fetched to mention him for England? He will do a job for you if you need a target."

West Ham's defending was calamitous throughout, with Tomkins and Matthew Upson unable to handle Davies and Johan Elmander.

"I'm disappointed. I wasn't expecting that. Nobody was,'' said Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola. "The way we started the game determined the result. They were better than us and took advantage of their opportunities. That was the killer really. It's our fault.

"It wasn't James' (Tomkins) best game. But when Johan and Kevin are playing like that it's not easy. He needs to work on his game. We had opportunities but by then it was too late. We lost points today and I told the players we have to go and get them back somewhere else."

West Ham travel to Chelsea next weekend and then face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium but Zola is not overawed by the challenge.

"I don't care if we're playing Chelsea or Arsenal," he said. "Last year we got a point in both games, so you never know. I'm not going to go there already beaten, that's for sure."

Sunday Independent

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